Fri | Apr 19, 2019

Prime Minister's Reception celebrates power of music, culture - Recognises hard work of industry players

Published:Friday | February 23, 2018 | 12:00 AMKimberley Small/Gleaner Writer


For this Reggae Month, the Government of Jamaica ascribed the theme 'Peace, Love, Reggae'.

During the recent Prime Minister's Reception, an event intended to take place annually, Prime Minister Andrew Holness fully endorsed the month-long celebration of reggae music, with an assertion of continued support.

"We see Jamaica's phenomenal beauty. We see our outstandingly great people, and we see this as supporting you to shine. The music that we have is powerful and it makes us a powerful people in the world. Indeed, Jamaica is a superpower country - the superpower of culture and entertainment," Holness said.

"It is only befitting that the Government recognises this and once in the year, bring together all the players in this very important industry - to acknowledge, to say thank you, to encourage you to be as creative and productive as you have been during the decades."

Dr Cary Wallace, executive director of the Tourism Enhancement Fund, brought greetings on behalf of the Ministry of Tourism.

"We have a strategic policy, where we are linking entertain-ment and reggae, in this particular case with tourism, to make it an indisputable mix of power that can transform not just Jamaica, but the world," he said.

The theme - 'Peace, Love, Reggae' - was developed in response to the nation's current tumultuous state of events.


Difficult time


"It's very important that it be said, because Jamaica is going through a particularly difficult time with crime and violence. But this is not the nature and the culture of our people. I call up the cultural icons and ambassadors - who use music as a means of edifying the people, a means of uplifting the people - that we need to do more with our music. I think that the music is a powerful source of gathering the people together - of getting the people to think differently.

"The music is not just a reflection of the circumstances, but sometimes the music can become our anthem. It can become our theme. It can tell us what to do," Holness continued.

Marcia Griffiths, Tony Rebel, Bongo Herman, Queen Ifrica, Nadine Sutherland and Carlene Davis were some of the cultural icons and ambassadors in attendance. However, the stage was set for the upcoming generation of reggae performers. Providing entertainment for the reception were, 6 Points Band (current students of the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts), 18-year-old rising star Koffee, and all-female reggae band Adazeh.